I have often joked that I would burn all my school books and notes after my O-level exam, as a form of catharsis. Of course, I would never do that in real life because it is not beneficial.
The parents and children who were in the news recently for burning school material did so because of the great stress they faced ("Post-PSLE book-burning photo inflames netizens"; Oct 8).
No matter how stressful education gets, we should never burn our books. Books represent knowledge; what is the good of burning knowledge of any sort? As Greek philosopher Socrates once said: "Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel."
Education is not about memorising details from a textbook; it is about understanding and applying what one learns in real life. It is about lighting a fire to learn even more.
Instead of criticising the parents and pupils in the burning incident, we should focus on tackling the stress that they faced.
Benjamin Goh, 16, Secondary 4 student
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